Emerging Top Free Apps on iOS: Physics Puzzle Games Fill the iPhone

Several older games have returned to the top lists today, due to limited-time offers, FreeAppADay features, or just new content updates. Puzzle games of various sorts were notable this week, especially ones that tasked the player with constructing or destroying buildings. Another digital catalogue app for iPad is also on the rise, and this time it’s from IKEA. Last week, two (from Google and TheFind) took top honors. Both were apps that allowed users to put all their favorite catalogues in one place.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Free Apps List

Siege HeroSiege Hero — Siege Hero marks the new #1 top free iPhone app today. Rising due to a feature on FreeAppADay, the physics game tasks players with destroying enemy fortresses by utilizing different types of projectiles and tapping on weak points so that all enemies are crushed. Last updated August 15th, the game has received a handful of content updates since its release and has been featured on the top paid iOS charts in the past. Its developer is Armor Games, a mid-sized casual games developer out of Irvine, California that’s focused on simple Flash titles.

Toca Hair Salon — In at #2 is an older game that has been made free for only a limited time. Last updated July 1st, Toca Hair Salon is designed for children and lets them run their own hair salon. Using simple touch controls, players can trim, color, blow dry, and style the haircuts of several different, cute characters. The game is created by Toca Boca, a Swedish company that creates “digital toys” for children and is a part of the Bonnier Group.

The Impossible Test SUMMER —  The first newly released highlight of the day comes in at #3 in the form of The Impossible Test SUMMER. Also a feature on FreeAppADay, the game is a compilation of very simple summer-based questions and mini-games that must be answered within a short time limit. It is the fourth title in the series of The Impossible Test games, and also monetizes through in-app purchases such as the question answers. As for Impossible Test’s maker, it is credited as PixelCUBE Studios, a small iOS developer from Toronto. The iPad version of The Impossible Test SUMMER is ranked at #15.

SimplePhysicsSimplePhysics — Andrew Garrison is the sole developer behind SimplePhysics. Typically a paid application, it has been made temporarily free in honor of the Android release of BridgeBasher. The game sets the player to solving architectural and engineering puzzles by drawing support beams between connection points. Tasks include supporting a roof covered in snow or diving a submarine down to a certain depth. A difficult game, it also now monetizes through an in-app purchase for the puzzle solutions. Currently, the August 6th-updated app is #5 on iPhone and #11 on iPad.

Crack your Screen Simulator — At #6 is the last highlight for iPhone, Crack your Screen Simulator. A simplistic prank application, the title emulates a severe crack in the iPhone screen and does not allow the iPhone to go to sleep while it is open. The idea is to download it to a friend’s iPhone, tap the screen to “crack” it, then leave it to be found. The game is credited to an enigmatic developer, Giorgi Otiashvili, who also has the credits for several other simple iOS apps. Many of these applications link to a site with the company name of Lemondo.

New Titles Within Top iPad Free Apps List

Fragger HDFragger HD — The top free iPad apps list starts out at #3 with an older game, Fragger HD. Free only for a limited time, the game uses physics to challenge players with the goal of lobbing grenades in order to destroy structures and “explode” all enemies in each level. It is developed by British company Miniclip, owner of online games site, Miniclip.com, on which Fragger is noted to have over 100 million plays. The iPhone version of Fragger was also featured on the top free list a few months ago.

Pixlr-o-matic —  Next up is the photography application Pixlr-o-matic from California-based artistic computer software developer Autodesk. Updated just August 12th, Pixlr-o-matic allows users to import photographs and edit them — using various filters, lighting, and borders — in order to create a vintage looking image. Currently, the application is ranked at #5.

IKEA Catalogue — Digital catalogues have been appearing more frequently since last week on iPad. The latest, at #6 this week, is from international furniture company Inter IKEA Systems B.V. The IKEA Catalogue was recently updated August 19th with the 2012 issue, and this iPad app is essentially a digital rendition of that. As an app, however, IKEA Catalogue comes with bookmarking, social sharing, and an IKEA store locator.

Hidden WondersHidden Wonders of the Depths 2 — In at #8 is a top grossing iPad app from yesterday, Hidden Wonders of the Depths 2. Developed by the well known developer and publisher of Big Fish Games, Hidden Wonders is not one of its typical story-based adventure/hidden object style of games. The app is a puzzle game that challenges users with helping a crab explore the ocean through a series of different puzzles. That said, hidden object mini-games are still incorporated, along with more traditional puzzles, memory matching, and so on.

Rage HD — Last on the list today is Rage HD from id Software. Last updated August 3rd with better iOS 4 compatibility, the game is a first-person rail shooter in which players star in a post-apocalyptic television show, Mutant Bash TV!. Armed with a collection of fairly standard FPS weapons (e.g. shotgun, pistol, and machine gun), players must simply survive the onslaught of mutant enemies. As for id Software itself, this core games developer out of Texas best known for its FPS brands of Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Rage HD is currently ranked at #9 on the top free iPad apps list.